Association Management vs. License Management Software

If you’ve read our website, you’ve probably read the terms “association management” and “license management” about ten to twenty times over. You’ve actually probably first heard of us because you were looking for an association management software. Most people don’t know the difference between the two and refer to them both as association management. Another term that tends to be confused with both is membership management.

Well, we technically do association management, but only in the specific area of license management. What’s the difference?

The Difference

Association Management

The primary goal of association management is to protect the member of the association. The association management software is used to keep track of the members and their participation within the association. This software can also be used by any organizations, that are owned by anyone, and are running for any purpose. Association management softwares tend to include member-centric features. These features can be:

  • Event management
  • Member communication and engagement
  • E-commerce management
  • Fundraising
  • and other services for members

License Management

The primary goal of license management is not focused on the members, but is to protect the general public. A license management software, such as Permitsy and Alinity, has features that help ensure members have the legislated requirements and meet the professional standards to practice in regulatory bodies. An example of a regulatory body would be the College that your dentist is a part of. He or she likely has to renew their license regularly (usually annually), or recieve some continuing professional development in order to keep up with the latest dental practices, which is the law. A few features in a license management software include:

  • License applications for new members
  • Continuing competence / continuing professional development
  • Complaint management processes
  • Ensuring members annually meet license requirements (license renewal guidance and reminders for expired requirements, ex. criminal record check)
  • Directory of members provided for reference to the public
  • Exam management
  • Document management (stores certifications, transcripts, etc.)
  • Election management
  • Committee management (allows members to participate in committees, take minutes, notes, etc.)
  • and many more!

What is a Regulatory Body?

A regulatory body (or agency) is government-formed under the terms of a legislative act in the public’s interest, hence mentioning the dentist having to keep up with the latest practices because it’s the law.

That’s it.

There you have it. The key points to take away from this article are that association management softwares can be used to manage members of any association or organization, while a license management software focuses on the protection of the general public and is only used by regulatory bodies to ensure members are following what is required by the law to practice their profession.